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Vatican Museums tour offered by the Vatican

Vatican Museums tour offered by the Vatican

Old Apr 21st, 2006, 12:59 PM
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MaureenB
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Vatican Museums tour offered by the Vatican

Has anyone been successful in faxing a request to the Vatican and getting a confirmation faxed back? I'm using the directions on the Vatican website, and faxing my request for a Vatican museum tour, per its instructions. I've faxed it three times in the past 10 days, and my machine says it's been successfully sent, but no response. I'm asking for a tour about two weeks from now.
 
Old Apr 21st, 2006, 02:02 PM
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You have encountered the problem that everyone encounters with the Vatican Museums' own tour: They don't confirm until very late. Someone on another travel board said that she had received her confirmation about a week in advance of the tour, just before her departure from the U.S.

Hope for the best and make a note of the telephone (not fax) number, so that you can call if you do not receive a confirmation before you leave.
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 09:19 PM
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MaureenB
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Thank you, Eloise. I was wondering if it was a common problem. I appreciate your reassurance. I'll be patient and hope it arrives.
 
Old May 4th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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MaureenB
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I'm running out of time. I've faxed a couple of times to the Vatican, and still no reply. I leave the day after tomorrow. Anyone have another way to reach the Vatican for a tour of the museums, besides via fax? The phone number doesn't even answer.
If all else fails, I'll just book another tour at the hotel. But is it true that only the Vatican-sponsored tours get in ahead of the line? It's all a bit confusing. Just don't want to waste time standing in line. Also would prefer a seminarian as a tour guide.
 
Old May 4th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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It's true that only participants in the Vatican Museums' own tours do not have to stand in line.

There is no guarantee that even a Vatican Museums" guide will be a seminarian, much less of a tour that you book elsewhere.

I understand, although I've never tried it, that seminarians offer tours of St. Peter's Basilica for a modest fee.

I would suggest that you take the Vatican Museums' telephone number with you and phone them when you arrive in Rome.

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Old May 4th, 2006, 11:49 AM
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MaureenB
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Thanks, Eloise. I'll do that, but I'm afraid it will be too late at that point to reserve with the Vatican directly. We may just see how the lines look, and either wait or find an open tour group. Or we can tour on our own, with audio guides perhaps. But I'm most concerned about going to the head of the line-- don't want to waste precious moments in Roma.
 
Old May 4th, 2006, 12:04 PM
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MaureenB, The Vatican Museums TELL you to call them about the guided tours. You may very well have a reservation for one; it's just their somewhat bizarre way of handling things that is upsetting: That they don't tell you far enough in advance!
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Old May 4th, 2006, 12:08 PM
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P.S. I've seen it now many times: People recommend going around noon or a little later to avoid line ups.

Just in case the tour doesn't work...
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Old May 4th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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Eloise, do you have the phone number? Because everywhere I've looked on the Vatican website, it says to fax. I haven't found a phone number that works. I've tried two: 011 39 06 6988 8333 and 4466. Neither works.
 
Old May 4th, 2006, 01:42 PM
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MaureenB,

How strange! They USED to have a number for telephone inquiries, but I can't find it now either.

All I can find is the telephone number for the Telephone Service: 06.69.88.35.11

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Old May 4th, 2006, 01:49 PM
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Ah-hah! I found the number on another travel board.

Customer service for the guided tours is at or you may conctact Guided Tours Office staff directly by phone 06 6988 4676 to receive customer support.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:35 PM
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MaureenB
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Eloise, thanks so much. You're a life-saver to go to so much trouble. I have one more business day, i.e. tomorrow, to try and reach the Vatican. I'll give a call in the early a.m. so I can reach them before the end of day in Rome. I'll report back. Thanks!
(After all this, watch us get there and find absolutely no lines!)
 
Old May 5th, 2006, 05:55 AM
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Eloise, the good news is that I finally reached someone at the Vatican Museums tour office this morning. The phone number 06 6988 4676 is the one that worked, so thank you for finding and posting it. (The other number 06 6988 3511 is Italian-speaking only.)
The bad news is that they are sending out faxes tomorrow, on May 6, for my requested date, May 8. But, my flight is tomorrow morning, so I may have already left home before the fax arrives. Maybe the 8 hour time change will work in my favor, so I'll keep my fingers crossed. They really don't allow much time to inform people, do they?
I guess worst case is we will go ask at the Vatican on the morning of May 8, and see if we're on the list, and if so, when. That might be more complicated than just waiting in line, though. Or maybe we can call on Monday morning. Jeez. I hope it's worth this much trouble.
You'd think, with all their requests, the Vatican Museums office could have a better system to accomodate its guests.

 
Old May 5th, 2006, 06:10 AM
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Here's another suggestion. The tour guides at the Vatican are "luck of the draw," and ours was just going through the motions. The next day we used Francesca Caruso to tour the Colloseum and some other sites. She was a total delight and we wished we had booked her for the Vatican Museums as well. Email her at [email protected] ASAP and you may get lucky. She'll try to work you into her schedule and you won't be sorry. Her rates are very reasonable for an outstanding experience. Disclaimer: I'm in no way related to her.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 06:13 AM
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Can anyone tell me what the website address is. I didn't realize the you could book tours directly with the Vatican. We were just going to let the concierge at our hotel take care of it.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 07:29 AM
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MaureenB
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Nadoosh, the Vatican website is
http://www.vatican.va/
I hope you have better luck with faxing than I did.
 
Old May 5th, 2006, 09:11 AM
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Maureen,

Can they fax the confirmation to your hotel in Rome?
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Old May 5th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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bardo1, great suggestion, but it assumes they are customer service-oriented, which is sadly not the case!
If the fax ever does arrive at home after I leave, my husband can fax it to Rome for me.
 
Old May 5th, 2006, 02:51 PM
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Eloise
why do you think the tour offered by the Vatican doesn't work?
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Old May 5th, 2006, 04:29 PM
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ItalyLove,

I thought I had made it clear that MaureenB probably does have a reservation and that the problem is only with the way the Vatican Museums confirms its guided tours, i.e., at the very last minute.

Just in case the tour did not work out, I told her what I have read often here and elsewhere, that if one goes to the Vatican Museums around noon or shortly thereafter, one is least likely to encounter long lines.

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